Saturday, 25 September 2010

Eton College

Slough is rumoured to be rough, and this year I am working at a public charity for boys just outside of Slough.

Technically, this is all true, as Slough “has a relatively high crime rate, with figures for all crime statistic categories above the English average and figures for several categories more than double the English average” and Eton College "is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868”, Wikipedia dixit. However, it is also true that Windsor Castle (one of the Queen’s residences) is a 10-min walk away, that Windsor is a tourist wonderland and that Eton is commonly perceived to be the cream of the crop amongst the most exclusive schools for boys in the world.

The King's College of Our Lady of Eton beside WindsorOnly boys study here, so a boy is a pupil/student. Yet a beak is a teacher, the headmaster is the Head Master, a class is a div, boys in the same year are a block, a term is a half (Michaelmas, Lent and Summer, so 3 halves), lessons in the morning are scheduled as schools (1st School 9:00-9:40, 2nd School 9:50-10:30 and so on to 5th) and those after lunch as After Four (4:30-5:10), After Five (5:20-6:00) and After Six (6:15-7:15). After lessons and in between them, much sport is done, and a number of games unique to Eton are played here, like Eton Fives and The Wall Game.

So what am I doing here? I am not a boy, not yet a beak, but I am the Spanish Assistant at Eton College for 2010/2011 – though I prefer the rather pompous term Lector, fahfahfah. I am here to teach the boys and help them with their oral Spanish (however that may sound). There is a new Lector every year, all of them from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, so here is another reason to consider myself lucky to have studied there. This is for me an amazing opportunity to get to know the Tradition that inspired Harry Potter from the inside and to teach in possibly the best environment one could hope for.

For Eton is… special. It is special in so many ways that it will take me many, many posts to point it out. So as this new journey of discovery and understanding I am embarked on progresses I will endeavour to share my discoveries. You’re welcome to tag along!


euge said...

Well, I'll hail your coming back: it is - for me - proof that you're beginning to know what you know, how you know what you know, and why you know what you know the way you know it.

MasterMan said...

Thankee much, I'm sure, whatever that meant ^_^

euge said...

It simply meant that writing is your medicine, what did you think?!